Not getting better


Opening Theory Made Easy is a great book. @evan_keeney, I would recommend this book as it definitely helped me improve my understanding of the game.


I feel I am at fault for creating an issue by posting a link.

I can’t help but feel some hostility towards an honest and well-meant effort. Studying sometimes means finding material that is not optimal, but conveys in a helpful way a piece of the puzzle. For me, as a beginner, this book offers exactly that (I know bad habits are difficult to unlearn, but everyone has to work with themselves the difference between memorizing and studying). I am a very weak Go player, with no aspirations to become a dan player, so maybe I lack the competitive spirit that requires to study specifically the right, the correct, the efficient and only that.

As a reader of the book and as a student of Go, I would be extremely thankful to anyone who would contribute to make it better, but the idea of tossing it out (not anyone’s exact words, I’m not quoting) seems misplaced. There is a gap between ABC books and abstract theories books, but there is an audience for this gap. So, maybe we should nurture efforts to fill it.

P.S. I had no idea the author of the book existed before I happened upon his book, a few weeks ago. It just happened to be the first book I personally found that was not written with the unshakable belief that everyone can and should access books in English AND everyone who starts a hobby must firmly want to become a pro.


no worries. not necessarily hostility, just open honest opinion.


This is where I’d have to disagree, in terms of what to teach DDKs for openings. Computers think that the large enclosure is better than the small, but it gains its strength from being flexible, rather than solid. For teaching DDKs, I’d rather teach the small enclosure, since playing solidly is generally more important at that level than maximizing territory. Suboptimal, solid plays with simple follow ups will be easier for a DDK to figure out, and more likely to address the weaknesses in their play. Their opponents will blunder enough points away that playing the best move, every time, won’t be necessary. I’d probably add a caveat that the ogeima and the two space high enclose are ‘better’, but I’d still teach the keima every time.

I do think that teaching the early 3-3 invasion fuseki is worthwhile, though. It’s reasonably solid, balanced, simple, and requires a specific approach. Knowing what the general idea is will be helpful for a DDK, just as is knowing the general idea behind a framework fuseki. Again, though, I might just teach the old school way of responding to it, with the caveat that playing looser to gain sente is “best”, but can lead to complications.


nah, if you teach, you would mention the basic pros and cons of either, then it is fine to play /experiment either way.

the problem occurs only when players mimic without knowing the difference.

i give you a real story:

in my recent tournament, i plays 4-4, my opponent low approach, i extend at the other direction, he slides in, i take 3-3, he extend 3 spaces instead 2. i put my stone in between. my opponent pauses for minutes, then simply let me split his three stones.

and this happens twice with one 5kyu, another 4kyu.

you can guess who won both games. :smile:


I’d mention it, but I wouldn’t go through any variations, or recommend that a DDK play the move. DDKs don’t have the reading skill necessary to understand the variations on the large enclosure variations, or what their strategic ramifications are. Playing the small enclosure will lead to fewer mistakes, and make it easier for a DDK to apply/understand basic principles, such as direction of play and shape.

Fundamentally, that’s what I think should drive selection of fuseki to teach a DDK: what will allow them to best learn their basic principles. If an opening is going to lead to giant fights that they don’t understand, or if it should lead to such fights if their opponent understands the principles behind the position, they shouldn’t play it. They should play the keima until they can effectively make use of it, and then check out the bigger enclosures.

That’s what’d guide my selections in a book aimed at beginners, and how I’d present it. “A, B, and C are all reasonable. B and C are modern moves, aiming at speed and flexibility. A is older, and has fallen out of fashion among top players, but the principles behind it are munch simpler. Focus on simple until you understand it, then learn more about larger enclosures. Here’s the orthodox fuseki with the keima. You should play it, and here are some common, sound variations with easy to understand explanations.”


Come on, @Gia! You shared a resource that others might find useful! Not only that, but in doing so you supported the project itself, both by helping potential new translators, for example, to discover it and enabling those already involved with it to receive welcome criticism.

And, I mean, it usually takes ninjas to start throwing shuriken at me before I cannot help but find their behavior excessively hostile—and if working with those shouting bosses in Misaeng can sound like a walk in the park, what about words written in a forum by people who share the same goal of helping others learn more about a wonderful game?

The only issue, which is not your fault either, nor anyone in particular’s, is the deviation from the thread’s subject—sorry about that, @evan_keeney!—but I have already asked the moderation if it would be possible to split the discussion into a new topic. All is good! Play a match with me sometime. :slight_smile:


you are too serious. :joy:

  • I meant at fault for creating an issue in someone else’s thread, you are right, the way I wrote it sounded different. And I meant hostility towards the author, not me. But everyone seems past this, so… I find it a passionate but fair community, this little time I’ve been part of OGS. :slight_smile:
  • Geu Rae is a treasure.
  • For the life of me I can’t find how to search people on the actual OGS site based on their nickname on the forum site, I’d love to play a match with you sometime. :slight_smile:



For the life of me I can’t find how to search people on the actual OGS site based on their nickname on the forum site, I’d love to play a match with you sometime.

You need to press the OGS button up on the left top corner. Right on the top of the menu there is a search bar where you can put the nickname you want to find.


Then the usual process ( right click on the nickname -> challenge )


I think there are plenty of good go books that are aimed at complete beginners.

Janice Kim’s “Learn to Play Go” series is a very gentle introduction to the game. Although, given that it is spread out over 5 volumes, I cannot recommend that it is a good value to buy new at the list price (see more discussion here). However, if you are able to borrow it or find possibly used copies at a discount, it is worthwhile to take a look.

Another good beginner book is Cho Chikun’s “Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game”.

Also, here are some free online resources that are very accessible to beginners: